Chess In The Schools

A Message From Ms. Stacey Ross - PS 131's Substance Abuse Prevention/Intervention Specialist (SAPIS)

      We have had a chess program in PS 131 since 2009.  There is a chess club in the morning so students can practice every day. We have ten lunch chess classes for the fourth and fifth grade. We partner with Chess in the Schools who sends an instructor to teach the entire third grade and also runs an after school program.  Together, we teach over 200 children a year to play chess. 
      We have been attending tournaments since 2010 and have won over 50 team trophies, and over 100 individual trophies.  In 2019, we came in 5th place in the New York City Chess Championship and from 2015 through 2018,  came in 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 11th  place,  at the National Elementary Chess Championship which takes place  each year in Nashville Tennessee.  
     Chess increases students' abilities to problem solve, consider consequences and focus  concentration. Chess develops emotional skills such as communication, reflection  and fair play. It develops cognitive skills such as critical thinking, calculation and logic.
   One of our students stated. "I love chess. It helps me focus."
   Scroll down to learn more about the Chess in the Schools Program.

Chess Tournament Results

Chess Tournament at MS 390X - November 19, 2022
Congratulations to our PS 131 Chess Team and coaches, Ms. Stacey Ross and Mr. Anthony from Chess in the Schools!  At the MS 390 Chess Tournament in the Bronx, our Chess Team won the 1st Place Team Trophy for the Elementary division.  In addition to our 1st Place Team trophy, three students (Dylan, Jerry, and James) were awarded  individual trophies based on their standing among the division's participants and seven students (John, Eric, Michelle, Darwin, Jayden, Alvin, and Dechlin) were awarded individual medals. What is especially amazing is that of the 14 team members who participated, this was the very first tournament for 12 of them!  They are looking forward to their next tournament which will be on January 28, 2023 in Queens.

Photo Gallery

Learn About the Chess in the Schools Program

      The Chess In the School Program teaches chess in approximately 48 elementary and middle schools annually in New York City public schools, including PS 131 (read more below). The schools participating in the program are primarily schools that receive Title I Funding. Each school participating in the School Program is assigned a Chess in the Schools trained instructor. In each participating school, the School Program generally has two components: classroom instruction and an after-school chess club. In  school year 2021-22, they will teach a total of approximately 6,000 elementary and junior high school students chess.
Why Chess?   
At Chess in the Schools, they believe in the power of chess to change lives. To date, they have taught more than 500,000 of New York City's most underserved children,  inspiring them to greater achievement. Each day, they are proud to help kids grow, one move at a time. Their impact is demonstrated by classroom teachers responses to our annual survey:
  • 99% Chess had a meaningful positive impact on my students.
  • 95% Practicing chess increased students' self-esteem.
  • 96% Chess enriched students' social skills.
  • 98% Chess developed students' analytical and logical skills.
  • 96% Chess improved my students' math skills.
  • 98% Girls and boys are equally interested in chess in my class.
  • 99% Want Chess in the Schools in their class next year.

To Learn More: